Showing posts with label #review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #review. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Alice K. Arenz Interview & Giveaway

Welcome, Alice K. Arenz to this Writing with God's Hope blog. I'm so excited to interview a past Carol award winner. Thanks to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) loop, I only recently "met" you, so I loved getting better acquainted. I read and reviewed your book. For those who might like to see my review, I added it to the bottom of this post.

Also, everyone be sure and scroll to the end because Alice is offering a fantastic giveaway offer, so don't miss out on that.



Where did you get the idea for your book?

I’ve always said that my ideas, inspiration, etc., come from God. Jenny is no different in that matter than anything else I’ve ever written—published or unpublished.  I was first “given” this title what seems a million years ago as it was back in high school. What triggered it? I’ve no idea. The title came into my head with the admonishment that I wasn’t to forget it—there was a story here that would come later.  I never forgot the title or that promise.

 

How did you find your publisher?

Short answer: I didn’t. Longer answer . . .

 

About six years ago, my original publisher went another direction, my health got really sketchy and I believed writing was in my past. Then, last year, a dear friend, Bonnie Engstrom, suggested I contact her publisher and I not only got a contract for three new books, but after getting my rights back from my initial publisher, my first three books were re-issued! So the advice is that if this is something you really want to do, feel God leading you to do, NEVER, EVER, GIVE UP!  God will find a way!

 
What an inspiring testimony. Thanks.
Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?

My next project is a Women’s Fiction called A Question of Survival, a story about spousal abuse…and survival.  I was hoping to get this out by the beginning of August, but haven’t been feeling well enough to write like I’d wanted.

 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Unfortunately, due to some health issues, I haven’t been able to concentrate on reading a book now for sometime—and because of hypersensitivity to sound, it also rules out audio books. When I began this recent foray back into writing, I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it. I can’t spend very long working, amazed if it goes beyond a half hour or so. But I’m trusting in God to see me through. If this is where He wants me, then I know He will give me the ability and strength to see it through.

 
I will sure begin praying for your health. Sorry, that it's been a rough time lately.
Tell us something about yourself, especially about your writing journey.

I’ve always had a very active imagination, but didn’t really write much down until I was twelve or so. A lot of years went by before I took writing seriously. I devoured Writer’s Digest Magazine, took a creative writing course at the local university, and sent “over the transom” queries to editors and agents. In the early 90s I landed a contract with a New York literary agency. Though it didn’t produce the hoped-for results, it taught me a lot about how much discipline and determination were vital necessities in the writing world. Years later I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learned a lot from the group, and made some contacts that eventually earned me a contract with a small press.

In spite of a myriad of health issues—especially the hypersensitivity in my fingers and hands which makes typing a challenge, between 2008 and 2010, I managed to get three books written and published. Those books, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (cozy mystery), The Case of the Mystified M.D. (cozy mystery), and Mirrored Image (classic romantic mystery/suspense), all finaled in ACFW’s Carol Awards, with The Case of the Mystified M.D. winning in 2010.

 
After a five year absence from the writing scene because of even more challenging health issues, I signed with a new publisher, Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications, published my fourth novel, a classic romantic suspense, An American Gothic, re-issued the previous three with wonderful new covers and changes, AND had my fifth novel, Portrait of Jenny, published by Take Me Away Books, also a division of Winged Publications. Talk about feeling God’s blessing with this second chance!

 
How wonderful! I'll bet with your health problem, I could answer the question below.
Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

Yes, often. But writing is a part of me, a part of who I am. Even during the darkest of times the hope of continuing this journey remained. So, how have I “pressed through?”  God. There is no other explanation.


That's the answer for everything, isn't it, Alice?
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Spending time with my children and grandchildren—which I’ll never get enough of!

 
What’s your favorite Scripture verse?

My favorite of favorites is John 3:16-17, probably because it is the first one I learned by heart when I was very young.  I also love Isaiah 42:16—“I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight.”  That one is over my computer desk and reminds me every day that God IS by my side.

 
Tell us about Portrait of Jenny


Not even a beautiful woman can save Richard Tanner from his past.
Following an explosive—and public—argument with his ex-girlfriend, artist Richard Tanner races into a rainstorm, gripped by a powerful migraine. He wanders to the gazebo in University Park, where he meets the beautiful and mysterious Jenny—a brief encounter that leaves an indelible impression on his mind—and in his paintings.
When Detective Jack Hargrave accuses Richard of the brutal assault on his ex, he finds himself confronting demons of a past he doesn’t remember. A time when little Richie Tanner walked into University Park whole, was beaten and left to die…a time that may hold the key to his future.

You can purchase the book at:
 





Portrait of Jenny is the newest book of 2010 ACFW Carol Award winning author, Alice K. Arenz. This follows last August’s release of An American Gothic, also a mystery/suspense.  
Cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (2009 Carol finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 Carol winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (2011 Carol finalist), have been re-released by Forget Me Not Romances.

 

 

Visit Arenz at her website www.akawriter.com

 
My review of Portrait of Jenny:
 
Arenz's knack for detail makes her book wordy but explanatory to ones of us seeking to understand the specifics of the crime. Portrait of Jenny is a complex and intriguing mystery. The author offers many red herrings for readers to chase and make their determination of whodunnit before the aggravating Detective Jack Hargrove learns the truth, or Richard Tanner gets killed.. Leaves you still thinking about the story.
 
 
 
Now, for the giveaway:

Win an e-book of Portrait of Jenny.
 
Post a comment below. Make sure you give your e-mail. We'll enter you into a contest. The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 14 after the midnight of the 13th deadline. So, don't delay. Leave your comment & e-mail now.
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gail Kittleson's New Release and My Review

Writing with God's Hope blog welcomes Christian author, Gail Kittleson with info about her new release, In This Together. Gail presents a supposedly newspaper interview of her hero Al Jensen.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR MY REVIEW OF IN THIS TOGETHER.
 
 
After World War II steals her only son and sickness takes her husband, Dottie Kyle begins cooking and cleaning at the local boarding house. The job and small town life allow her to slip into a predictable routine, but her daughters and grandchildren live far away, and loneliness is Dottie's constant companion when she's not working. Al Jensen, Dottie's long-time neighbor, has merely existed since his wife died. Al passes his time working for his son at the town's hardware store. However, he still copes with tragic memories of serving in WWI. Being with Dottie makes him happy, and their friendship grows until, for him, love has replaced friendship. When Dottie's daughter has health issues, will Al’s strength and servant's heart be enough to win Dottie's love and affection? Can Dottie's love for her family enable her to face her fear of crowds and enclosed spaces and travel halfway across the country to help the daughter who so desperately needs her?
 
Interviewer: Hello, there. Are you Mr. Jensen?
 
Al: I am, but my son is the proprietor here now. I just help him out.
 
I:   Fine hardware you have here. I’m looking for Dottie Kyle. You know her?
 
Al: I do, but may I ask what you’re ...”
 
I:   I’m from the county newspaper, and we’re running a series on Gold Star mothers—women who lost sons in the war. Mrs. Kyle is on our list, and I hope to speak with her.
 
Al: That’s not a good idea, son.
 
I:    But I ... I can’t go back without a story.
 
Al: You just might have to. Dottie’s not one to talk about her son.
 
I:   You know her well?
 
Al: Her husband was my friend for thirty years.
 
I:    So he has passed, too?
 
Al: Right as the war ended.
 
I:    So Mrs. Kyle bears two recent losses. And did you have a son in the war?
 
Al:  Sure did, but we were lucky. He came home.
 
I:    I’d still like to find Mrs. Kyle. Can you tell me where she’d be?
 
Al: Nope, she’s a private person, doesn’t need anybody poking into her business. I hope you’ll respect that.
 
I:   You seem quite protective of her.
 
Al: She’s been through a lot, and it’d be a waste of your time, since she’d tell you no flat out. But Dottie’s a peach of a gal.
 
I:   Could you ... do you have any other names to give me?
 
Al: Scratches his head and peers out the window.
 
I:   There must be somebody else who lost ...
 
Al: Oh! Try Henrietta Perry, lives right across from the Lutheran church on Washington Street. She lost a nephew, and she loves the limelight.
 
After the reporter leaves: Al’s mind stays with Dottie, and he loses track of the nails and bolts he’s putting away in their little drawers. Didn’t Mrs. Roosevelt say something about a woman being like a teabag, showing her strength in hot water? Well, that was Dottie, for sure. How can he possibly win the affection of such a nuts and bolts woman—she knows her mind, and keeps it to herself.
 
 
Discover more about Dottie and Al as you read In This Together, Gail’s debut novel releasing TODAY!!!      http://tinyurl.com/oksyzr3
 
 
 
 
 
 
Find Gail Kittleson at:
 
http://www.gailkittleson.com/
www.facebook.com/gail.kittleson
 
 
 
 
My Review
 
 
In This Together by Gail Kittleson is a historical romance. The main characters aren’t young first-time lovers. Dottie is a widow, and Al, a widower, both with grown children and grandchildren.
 
Kittleson’s description is awesome, her research impeccable. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to live in post World War II, this book paints a vivid picture. The author places you right in the state of Iowa in 1947 and then moves you to the California coast on a passenger train across the states.
 
Her characters win over the readers and draw them into the period when life changes quickly in the war’s aftermath. The author pulls at your heart strings. When I finished reading, I believed I would know Dottie and Al if I met them on the street.
 
Though I didn’t live through this time period, I now feel as if I did. Thanks to Kittleson for a truly heart-warming read.

 
Thank you, Gail, for visiting us today. I loved the "reporter interview."
 
To those visiting the Writing with God's Hope blog today, I hope this directs you to a new, exciting book for yourself or as a Christmas gift. Thank you, all, for stopping by.
 
 



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Review from a Critique Partner

             Worth Her Weight                                                           

BY JANET BROWN

Reviewed by Sue Watson

 
 

Worth Her Weight  by Janet Brown is a story of inspirational fiction about a woman who has struggled with  her weight for many years. She has tried every kind of diet and failed. Mostly she has lost a couple pounds, and then gained them back because of treating herself to unhealthy food choices.  She eventually learns she is indulging in emotional eating due to stress, anger, or hurt feelings.

 

Lacey works full-time for a demanding boss, takes care of her disabled mother, and eventually takes over the responsibility for her four-year old niece after her sister is busted for drugs. She’s the person everyone seems to lean on for whatever they need done.  She finds her self-worth in doing for others even when it is not a good idea to do so.

 

Her long time police officer friend, Toby, comes around a lot and helps with heavy chores and gets very involved in helping her raise her niece. Unfortunately, the pastor’s beautiful, slender daughter has her eye on Toby as potential husband material.

 

 Author Janet Brown has lost 95 pounds and kept it off for many years. She wrote a devotional book, Divine Dining, and teaches a weight loss class at her church. Her life long battle with food addiction helps her write a story that touches on the intended and unintended unkindnesses people subject overweight people to.

 

Since I am a member of her critique group, I have watched this book go from a nugget of an idea to a well-written story. Anyone who reads this book, whether they have a weight problem or not, will not only read a good story, but also gain some insight into the problems over-weight people face.

 

You can contact Janet on Facebook as Janet K. Brown, Author, and on Twitter @janetkbrowntx, or e-mail her at Janet.hope@att.net. You can learn more on her website/blog: http://www.janetkbrown.com.  Her book is available through Pen-L Publishing on line.

 
Thank you, Sue, for allowing me to post your review on my blog. God bless.